This paper describes a method to reconstruct birth histories for women in the 1900 and 1910 U. S. census IPUMS samples. The method is an extension of an earlier method developed by Luther and Cho (1988). The basic method relies on the number of children ever born, number of children surviving, number of children coresident in the household and age-specific fertility rates for the population to probabilistically assign an “age” to deceased and unmatched children. Modifications include the addition of an iterative Poisson regression model to fine-tune age-specific fertility inputs. The potential of birth histories for the study of the U.S. fertility transition is illustrated with a few examples.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This article was supported in part by funding from the Minnesota Population Center (P2CHD041023) and through a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD082120-01). I would like to thank Ian Timaeus, George Alter, and two anonymous referees for suggestions.
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- birth intervals
- fertility decline